GOLF TIPS: The head changes a golfing stroke

Bruce Lewis

This is an old tip that someone reminded me of several weeks ago. Many golfers tilt and turn their heads while at the address position. This is an issue because golfers tend to start their back swing in the same direction their heads are tilted.

If a golfer’s head is slightly tilted toward the right shoulder, they usually have an inside-back swing. A good example of this type of swing is Jack Nicklaus.

But if a golfer’s head is aimed toward the left shoulder, the back swing usually starts toward the outside. This happens because golfers tend to tilt their head to focus with their dominant eye.

Next time on the course, check your head alignment by holding a scorecard in your mouth. Look down at your ball so the edge of the card shows if your head is lined squarely with your target.

Downhill Chips

One of the toughest chips in golf is from a downhill lie.

Most players try to “scoop” their chip, thinking they are helping lift the ball. Scooping is the worst thing you can do on a downhill chip.

By scooping the ball, it will fly lower and with less backspin than a normal chip. Instead, plan to land further from the hole to allow for the added roll.

As you address the ball, keep your weight on your forward foot. Try to stand as parallel to the hill as possible with your shoulders level to the ground. Use a steep-swing angle of attack to strike the ball first, then the grass. This is a great time to use your sand wedge or 60-degree wedge for added loft.

Using this swing for 15 minutes at the practice chipping green will help your game immediately.

Variety of Shots From Gary Player

During a clinic at Pebble Beach, I had the opportunity to speak with Gary Player regarding the variety of shots he needed to win five British Opens and many events on the Senior Tour.

Player believes he has an advantage over many golfers because he mastered the shots needed for all weather conditions. Although Player is known for his excellent bunker play, his ability to control the ball flight and distance in windy conditions is a true art.

Golfing in the windy afternoons of San Benito County calls for the same ball flight control as Gary Player. Selecting stronger lofted clubs and punching shots into the wind will result in lower scores and shots.

Using more club and easy swinging helps keep your balance so the your ball will fly straighter in windy conditions.

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